8th Circuit Court upholds funeral protest law | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

8th Circuit Court upholds funeral protest law

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld today a Missouri city ordinance aimed at picketing and other forms of protests at funerals. Such protests may be limited, the court said, as to time, place and manner — in this case 300 feet from a service during and for an hour on either side of the service. Arkansas and Congress have passed similar laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court had earlier overruled a damage suit by a father whose military veteran son's funeral was targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka for one of its many protests at military funerals, loosely built around denunciations of homosexuality. But, the 8th Circuit said, that Supreme Court decision made clear it was for the specific case at which protesters had complied with an even stricter law on funeral limits. It left the door open to some restrictions. The 8th Circuit decided today there was a significant public interest in protecting "the privacy interests of funeral attendees," equivalent to that extended to people in their homes and, by statute, people seeking to enter health facilities.

The full 8th Circuit heard the case and none dissented, though a concurrence from Judge Lavenski Smith of Arkansas noted:

... this court is extending the circumference of what this circuit has previously found constitutes a significant government interest. The uniqueness of the funeral assembly justifies it. We must be concerned, however, that few, if any, other places become walled off to the free expression of ideas due to their potential effect on the hearer.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • ASU announces $29 million athletic project backed by private booster foundation

    The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation which will take the responsibility for building $29. million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Monday's open line

    • I personally find the whole "Personhood for fetuses" absolutely absurd. How stupid to insert it…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Vox pop: Mixed response to Capitol monument proposals

    • Here is a good news for those interested. There is away you can earn money…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Protest set on tax legislation

    • I am sorry about the debit to your grandchildren Razor, but if the GOP majority…

    • on November 20, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation